In the Preschool 3’s Room children are provided a little more structure and increased expectations that they will begin to accommodate to group needs, wait and take turns. Children are challenged to further develop self-help skills, beginning explorations in academic areas as well as social and emotional skills. Learning activities are embedded in the daily activities rather than in isolated skill and drill exercises. Active exploration, experimentation and discovery are emphasized. We also recognize that children still need the support of warm and supportive adults sensitive to individual needs.
Family and Staff Communication: There is still a lot of communication between teachers and parents, and our staff have several ways in which to relay important information. These include records of naps and a room calendar with activities of the day, a memo board, email and most importantly direct conversation.
Classroom Environment: The classroom is organized with a range of activity area/learning centers designed to provide opportunities for children to explore independently, construct, create and explore in small groups, play cooperatively, begin to experience some large group times and still have some individual time with their teachers. Interest areas include large block and dramatic play areas, a reading/quiet area, areas for art activities, sensory exploration and a broad selection of manipulatives such as puzzles, interlocking materials and shape and patterning materials. At this age children begin to stay focused on one activity for longer periods of time. The environment is adapted in response to the emerging skills of children throughout the year.
Classroom Routine: The Preschool 3’s Program has a predictable sequence of activities each day. This allows children to know what to expect as the day progresses. . Though the activities we provide change daily due in response to emerging skills and interest, open-ended materials and exploration leads to many opportunities to use the same materials in more complex ways.
As indicated below, naptime is generally from 1:00-2:30. Children remove their shoes prior to nap and with adult encouragement and support learn to put their shoes back on after nap independently. Independence in self-help skills is also reinforced as children get their own items for their cot before nap and put them away afterwards.
Typical Daily Schedule
Classroom Activities: Examples include stacking, sorting and manipulating various objects such as blocks, puzzles and shapes; exploration of various art media such as drawing, painting, gluing and printing; singing and dancing; sensory explorations such as water, sand and play doh; climbing, running and riding; reading books; dramatic play; outdoor walks and explorations. As the year progresses, children begin to recognize and represent using recognizable shapes, figures, letters and numbers. Dramatic play takes on increased significance as children develop more elaborate characterizations and they experiment with different roles beyond those they experience in their lives.
Socialization: Three and four year olds become increasingly interested in the activities of their peers and begin to negotiate and solve problems with less adult assistance. They are beginning to be able to take the perspective of others, reliably control their impulses and wait for a turn. Our teachers take advantage of opportunities presented to help children develop the tools to work through conflicts that arise. Their teachers remain close by to supervise and facilitate their interactions.